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Milestone Setting helps define when a project will be complete and how to make sure the milestone is reached. Milestone setting defines what your team needs – along with the client. In this video, a snippet from a Xojo Presentation, I discuss how to effectively set Milestones with your client.

Please find a full video transcript below: 

Susan:  All right, let’s talk a little bit about milestone settings or milestone setting. When you start the project, you want to start with when it’s due, and build backward for those milestones, so that you know you can meet the date.

Sometimes you might find that well, I overshot that. So, how on earth are we going to accomplish all of this in this timeframe? If you get to that point, don’t freak out. Talk to your client, partner with them. You’ll be amazed at when you talk to them upfront and explain, “You know, listen, I think we’re going to need two weeks longer than I expected,” that they will be fine with it. If you tell them on the due date that you need two more weeks, then they’re mad. Keep that in mind.

If you haven’t set a due date from your proposal, for example, you can also build the other way. You can look at oh, I couldn’t start this project for three months, they knew that. So, I’ll start scheduling from there and schedule out. The important thing is to get a schedule that’s … I hope you’re getting that part. That’s how you keep in scope. That’s how you keep in budget, is to have a timeline.

Meet your deadlines after you’ve set them, or communicate them in advance. Just like not ending the project on time, each of those little steps along the path will prevent you from ending your project on time if you don’t talk about it. Make sure that if you get behind, you know, “Hey, next week we’re going to make this up, we’re talking about it in the status meeting,” or, “We can’t make it up. I’m sorry, we’re not going to make next week’s deadline. We need another week.” If you do it again, upfront, you’ll be amazed at how that partnership works with your client.

Furthermore, include the major steps in your process. The one I think of the most is really testing. That’s when you need your clients’ involvement the most. Make sure they’re not on vacation that week. Go over that schedule with them on that first day. Make some modifications to it if need be, if they’re going to be out of the office. If their family is going to be gone on a month-long vacation, maybe you want to push and do it a week earlier, so they can test before they go, but partner with them in that first meeting, not only for the information and details you need to build your job but also for how to make it a good experience for that client, so that they know what’s going on.

We’ve done this right? What’s the first thing that happens?

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